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1970 World Tournament
South Gate, Cal. - July 25-Aug. 4, 1970

Permission granted by author, Gary T. Kline of
"The Official N.H.P.A. History of the World Tournament 1909-1980", Reflection Press, Dayton, Ohio
Gary T. Kline's book on past world tournament (before 1980) is recommended reading for any horseshoe pitching enthusiast. With his kind permission, we bring excerpts from his fabulous collection of data, to wit:

1970 World Tournament

After a lapse of seven years, the World Tournament returned to sunny California. The Southern California Association went all out in every way to make this a first class event. Three fabulous tours were arranged for the visitors. One was to Disneyland. Another was to Universal Movie Studios. And another was to the Fashion Mart.

The World Tournament Coordinator, Wally Shipley, had done an excellent job and would win the Arch Stokes Memorial A ward. Adding a special touch of class to the field were the fabled Ted Allen and Fernando Isais. Although both were now in the twilight of their careers, their charisma just put that special feeling to the quality of the group. Dale Dixon, "The Gray Goose", another legendary elder statesman, was making his last appearance in the championship showcase.

Nine rookies had dented this field. In their only appearance to date were Curt Bestel, Ralph Randall, Jonas Snyder, and Jim Ostrander.

Two of the rookies who would return were John Pratt and Monty Latino. Three great rookies would begin their march to the All Time Top 100.

The first was Ansil Copeland, Akron's most dangerous threat since World Champion George May. The second was Gerald Maison, addressed by his friends as "Doc", who would in his career manage to beat some of the great ones. Doc was one of three Michigan pitchers in this tournament, constituting the most since 1919! The third super rookie was Jesse Gonzales, the first and only known master of the tumble, commonly known as the flip method, to make the championship field in the history of the World Tournament. Jesse would be rookie of the year. Now on with the tournament.

For the purists among you, the reason each 36 man tournament is divided into sets of seven games is that this controls the repetitious listing of daily win-loss records. Also, the author does not have every World Tournament schedule - as no man alive has. This in no way changes the facts of each event and saves valuable space.

After seven games only Hohl and Kuchcinski were perfect. Hohl (90.0 percent) pasted Simmons, 50-11. Dan (90.0 percent) shelled Copeland, 54-13 and later with 90.5 percent throttled the great Isais, 50-9! Deadlocked at 6-1 were rookie Gonzales, high qualifier Kabel, State Champ West, State Champ Walker, and State Champ Knauft. Kabel fell to State Champ Kamman, 50-38. Walker was nipped by State Champ Toole, 50-45 Knauft was upset by Simmons, 50-46. West was surprised by rookie Maison. 51-4'5. Gonzales stumbled to the great Ted Allen, 50-47 in 120 shoes. Toole went down to West, 50-39 in 120 shoes. Floyd later edged Kamman, 51-49 in 126 shoes. Simmons measured Stinson, 50-38 in 128 shoes. Riffle shaded Knisley, 51-47 in their opening match.

After 14 games Elmer and Dan remained tied with no losses. Elmer went 110 shoes to turn back State Champ Smith, 50-42. Dan (91.2 percent) smashed Maison, 55-7 and later massacred Stout, 51-4 with 94.7 percent. Dan had now won 49 straight! At 12-2 were Gonzales, State Champ Baker, Kabel, Knauft, and West. Walker was 11-3. John was tipped by Riffle, 50-49 and by Maison, 52-34. West was nudged by Potts, 50-45. Knauft was taken by Isais, 50-45. Kabel was bopped by Henton, 51-32. Gonzales was downed by Isais, 54-45. John Pratt in game 14 captured his first win with his best game of the tournament. He pitched a fine 81.2 percent while upending Manker, 52-32. In game 10, Rademacher won his first game, 51-41, over Ostrander. Isais dropped two close ones; 54-48 to Riffle and 50-49 to Henton. Martz ran his winning streak to a modest nine.

After 21 games Hohl and Kuchcinski still remained perfect. Elmer knocked off Walker, 52-30 in 114 shoes. Dan (94.4 percent) thumped Ostrander, 54-6 and next game buried Snyder, 55-2 with 90.6 percent. No one had yet scored 40 points on Dan as his streak climbed to 56! At 18-3 were Kabel and Knauft. Henry (84.7 percent) outdid Wilbur (81.1 percent), 51-38 in 138 shoes. Henry was edged by Knisley, 51-48. West faded to 17-4, losing to Copeland, 52-43 and next to Henton, 51-42. Walker (85.7 percent) subdued Henton (82.5 percent) by a score of 5544 in 126 shoes. Riffle won in another squeaker, 51-49 over Baker. Martz bested Stinson, 50-42 in 126 shoes. Knisley was shaded by Latino, 50-49. Martz's streak was ended at 12 by West, 50-23. In game 16, Latino broke into the win column, 51-12 over Pratt. Monty pitched 86.4 percent, his tourney best. McFarland, the last man to finally win, caught Dixon in the throes of an 18 game losing streak, winning 52-24. In game 18, Ted Allen and Fernando Isais, two of the greatest superstars that horseshoe pitching has ever known, met for the final time. Fernando topped Ted, 50-29, ending their World Tournament showdowns after 23 games. Fernando held the lifetime advantage of 14 victories to Ted's nine. Probably horseshoe pitching's greatest rivalry had ended!

After 28 games Hohl and Kuchcinski remained tied, but now each had a defeat. In game 24, both were upset. Clyde Martz convincingly thumped Elmer, 53-23. Henry Knauft (85.6 percent) made a courageous comeback in a tremendous struggle with Dan who tossed 83.3 percent. Henry won 51-44 in 132 shoes. This ended Dan's winning streak at 59 games! Distant contenders at 24-4 were Kabel, Knauft, and West. Wilbur was nailed by Simmons, 51-37. Henry and Bob linked up in a lengthy 136 shoe donnybrook with West, eking out a 51 47 victory. Hohl (90.7 percent) drilled Knisley, 50-13. Martz (94.8 percent) humbled Copeland, 51-5.

In round 29, Kabel met defeat number five, being the victim of Isais, 52-36. In game 30, West (87.5 percent) out pitched Walker (84.3 percent), winning 52-36 in 128 shoes. Hohl (88.7 percent) pinned the fifth loss on Knauft, 50-31 in 142 shoes even though Henry hurled a fine 83.8 percent. In game 31, Knauft was eliminated by Martz, 54-43. Kabel also made his exit by being slaughtered by Hohl, 50-10. In game 32, Kuchcinski personally eliminated West, 52-28. In game 33, West in 136 shoes hit 84 percent to upset Hohl, 51-42. In the game 34 showdown, Kuchcinski (87.6 percent) out duelled Hohl (84.6 percent) for 130 shoes for a 50-37 win! Game 35, as is often the case, was now academic.

Young Dan Kuchcinski had now tied a record that will probably never be broken. Dan became the second man to win the World Title three times before the age of 21! Dan also joined Frank Jackson, Putt Mossman, Charlie Davis, Ted Allen, and Fernando Isais as men who successfully defended the World Title. Off the courts, Dan made his biggest conquest by marrying beautiful, three time Women's Champion, Sue Gillespie. Dan and Sue would also form an exhibition team, touring the country promoting horseshoe pitching. Dan's exhibition performance on the Johnny Carson Show will always be considered one of horseshoe pitching's greatest moments. The daring Johnny somehow was courageous enough to place his famous chin on the stake while Dan proceeded to pitch a ringer to the amazement of the viewers nationwide!


1970 World Tournament South Gate, Cal. - July 25-Aug. 4, 1970
QualW.L.R.Sp.Pet.
1. Dan Kuchcinski Erie, Pa. D.C. 34 1 2214 2608 84.9
2. Elmer Hohl Wellesley, Ont., Can. 526 32 3 2249 2676 84.1
3. Bob West Scappoose, Ore. 521 30 5 2509 3074 81.6
4. Henry Knauft Spokane, Wash. 518 28 7 2443 3010 81.2
5. John Walker Chula Vista, Cal. 521 27 8 2290 2908 78.7
6. Wilbur Kabel New Madison, Ohio 546 27 8 2273 2912 78.1
7. Glen Henton Maquoketa Iowa 491 26 9 2034 2665 76.3
8. Dave Baker Wentworth, Mo. 518 24 11 2151 2846 75.6
9. Glen Rime Dayton, Ohio 488 24 11 2102 2850 73.8
10. Clyde Martz Pittsburgh, Pa. 520 23 12 2200 2806 78.4
11. Merlin Potts Leonardville, Kansas 510 23 12 1995 2686 74.3
12. Jesse Gonzales San Luis Obispo, Cal. 537 22 13 2137 2794 76.5
13. Jerry Schneider Pico Rivera, Cal. 521 21 14 2149 2804 76.6
14. Ron Simmons Norwalk, Cal. 521 21 14 2076 2768 75.0
15. Fernando Isais Gardena, Cal. 514 21 14 2045 2786 73.4
16. Roy Smith Muskegon, Mich. 512 20 15 2127 2802 75.9
17. Jim Knisley Bremen, Ohio 516 20 15 2020 2802 72.1
18. Gerald Maison Warren, Mich. 500 16 19 1931 2670 72.3
19. Ted Allen Boulder, Colo. 505 15 20 1910 2650 72.1
20. Art Kamman Mesa, Ariz. 489 15 20 1988 2766 71.9
21. Floyd Toole Little Rock, Ark. 501 15 20 2102 2928 71.8
22. Frank Stinson Minneapolis, Minn. 524 15 20 2009 2866 70.1
23. Andy Paglarini Hibbing, Minn. 502 14 21 1945 2698 72.1
24. Stan Manker Martinsville, Ohio 520 14 21 1918 2719 70.5
25. John Rademacher Plant City, Fla.515 13 22 1962 2732 71.8
26. Jim Ostrander Lansing, Mich. 484 12 23 1754 2600 67.5
27. Jonas Snyder Chula Vista, Cal. 491 12 23 1736 2584 67.2
28. Ansil Copeland Akron, Ohio 484 11 24 1860 2708 68.7
29. Ralph Randall Barstow, Cal. 492 10 25 1576 2434 64.7
30. Jack Stout Melrose Park, Ill. 482 9 26 1847 2652 69.6
31. Curt Bestul Eau Claire, Wis. 511 8 27 1812 2664 68.0
32. Ned Shaver Whittier, Cal. 485 8 27 1545 2396 64.5
33. Ed McFarland Sepulveda, Cal. 490 7 28 1560 2416 64.6
34. Dale Dixon Des Moines, Iowa 487 6 29 1399 2316 60.4
35. John Pratt Citrus Heights, Cal. 480 4 31 1508 2380 63.4
36. Monty Latino Sacramento, Cal. 502 3 32 1507 2432 62.0